Undocumented Student Resources

The Career Services Center is making every effort to maintain up-to-date resources on this webpage. As information pertaining to The Dream Act, DACAmented, and Undocumented students may change prior to us becoming aware, we apologize if any of the information listed below is out-of-date.

It should also be noted that as an Undocumented student, you may face a special set of challenges in your educational and career journey. These resources will hopefully be a help to you in navigating that journey. 

Major / Career Exploration 

Many people begin thinking about their career in high school or college when they pursue their first job or internship. For some, they begin thinking about career upon picking a college major. 

For students who have DACA, there may be very few limitations to selecting a major or a career. Our office encourages students to explore our Career Exploration Guide to learn more about the process of selecting a major and career.

For students who are Undocumented and do not have DACA, the journey to a major or career may be met with unique circumstances. Majors or careers requiring clinical placements, practicums, licensure, certifications, or out-of-country travel, may present to be a challenge. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has put together a list, Undocumented Student Academics and Career Paths that highlights the probable outcomes of enrollment and employment post-graduation for each Marquette University college.

Internship / Job Search  

One of the best ways to prepare for life after graduation is to obtain career-related experiences that allow you to develop skills and knowledge you can apply in the workplace. Whether it is a paid or unpaid position, it is important to choose experiences that help you explore your career interests and fit your career goals.

For positions that are paid, a work permit is usually a requirement which presents limitations for Undocumented students. If a position is completed solely for credit or for experience, without pay, a work permit is not necessary, which would be more favorable for Undocumented students.

The Career Services Center has a Internship and Job Search webpage that expounds on searching for, applying to, and interviewing for internships, as well as networking and decision making. 

Skill-building experiences may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

Helpful Internship / Job Resources

Upon graduation and as you begin to apply for full-time work positions, you will again need to consider your status and whether or not you might encounter limitations. 

Helpful Internship/Job Resources

Disclosing your Status to Employers 

It can be confusing and stressful to decide when and with whom to share your status. Throughout the internship/job search and hiring process it is important to provide information that is true and authentic, however, you ultimately get to decide whether or not to share your status. You may decide to share your status with an organization early in the hiring process or in an interview if you feel comfortable doing so, and to start a discussion about how to move forward in the process. It is also important to consider who you would want to disclose to (sharing with a recruiter vs. a supervisor) and in what manner.

If you are unsure about whether or how to disclose your status, you can meet with a career counselor to discuss strategies for disclosing your status at different points in the process, or you can talk with other students and alumni who have been through the process.

Filling Out Applications

An employer MAY ask: 

Question Students with DACA Students without DACA
Are you legally authorized to work in the United States? Yes, because you have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit No.
See Alternative Employment Options
Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa? No, because you have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit No.
See Alternative Employment Options
Which languages do you read, write, speak?  This question can only be asked if language is a skill that is pertinent to the job you are applying for This question can only be asked if language is a skill that is pertinent to the job you are applying for

An employer MAY NOT ask: 

  • What is your visa type, status, nationality, place of birth, or of which country you are a citizen? 
  • What is your native language? What language do you speak most often? 

Alternative Employment Options

Unpaid Experience 

If you receive an internship offer, you may ask the employer not to be paid and pursue other means of financial support. You might also consider utilizing the internship to met a graduation requirement instead of receiving payment. 

Independent Contractor 

You may discuss with your employer the option of working as an independent contractor. Independent contactor's often fo the same type of work, but instead of working for one employer, might work for multiple clients. 

An independent contractor can use an Independent Taxpayer Identification Number which can be obtained regardless of immigration status. If you are interested in exploring this option more, consider reading Life after College: A Guide for Undocumented Students, pages 29-35, by Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) for more information. 

Limited Liability Company

For those willing to pursue entrepreneurship, you may be interested in starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC  is composed of an individual or a group of people who are both workers and owners of a business.

If you are interested in exploring this option more, consider reading Life after College: A Guide for Undocumented Students, pages 35-37, by Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) for more information.

Do note that “…in some instances, engaging in unauthorized employment (which USCIS has interpreted to include unauthorized self-employment) may adversely impact the ability of [an] individual to adjust their immigration status at a later time.”

Helpful Internship/Job Resources

Finding Support

As you are journeying through your internship or job search, or maybe even considering graduate or professional school, it can be helpful to connect with other students and alumni who have been through the process and successfully found opportunities.  You can learn strategies from their experiences that may help you in your own process. There are student-led initiatives at Marquette that can help you connect with other Undocumented students and their allies, as well as virtual and national groups.

Graduate and Professional School 

There are some professions that will require you to pursue graduate or professional school. If you are considering an occupation that requires a graduate degree, we encourage you to look into the requirements of the program as early as possible.

For students who have DACA, there may be very few limitations to pursuing a graduate degree.

For students who are Undocumented without DACA, the journey to graduate or professional school may be met with unique circumstances. Graduate/Professional school programs requiring clinical placements, practicums, licensure, certifications, or out-of-country travel, may present to be a challenge. Additionally, obtaining a graduate assistantship or fellowship as an Undocumented student without DACA might be challenging as these positions are very often paid positions and require a student to be hired by the educational institution.

It should also be noted that Undocumented students, including DACA recipients, are not eligible for federal student aid, but may be eligible for state or college aid, in addition to private scholarships. 

The Career Services Center has a Graduate and Professional School webpage that expounds on preparing and interviewing for graduate or professional school, as well as decision making.

Helpful Graduate and Professional School Resources

Additional Resources 

General DACA Resources

Legal Resources for DACA

 

Last Updated: September 2019

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